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When was the last time you saw a Data Center press release that didn’t make some green or energy efficiency claim? I guess because data centers are such huge energy hogs vendors must worry that building a new one will raise the hackles of the environmentalists. Nevertheless PR agencies should really stop dressing up stories about average data center performance to make them look better than they are.

“New data centre for London nearly halves the energy used by data centres and is Europe’s first to be independently certified as Tier III”

Trumpets the Fujitsu press release.

Wow that sounds cool, half the energy, great but half the energy of what? Independently verified, great, very good practice to make sure that you haven’t missed anything but first to be independently verified? Arrant nonsense, I have personally signed off the consultants fees on dozens of independent certifications. I made a few calls to colleagues in the business and without exception they all do this as a matter of course.

“The new data centre is a brown field development utilising a refurbished warehouse, to further reduce the environmental impact compared to a new building on green fields.”

Now this really is something to crow about, building on a brown field site is good for the environment and helps protect the green belt around our cities. Good work guys.

“When fully loaded the data centre will achieve a power usage efficiency (PUE) rating of 1.6 (62% DCiE)** compared to previous data centres at PUE 3.0. (33% DCiE) – this is  nearly double the efficiency of previous data centres.”

Guys, a PUE of 1.6 is a really poor show for a modern new build data center. If I was you I would not be publicizing it in a press release. (My earlier article How Efficient is my Data Center? explains the math behind calculating data center efficiency). Now if you get down to a PUE of 1.3 that is pretty good and worth telling the world about. Oh, and can someone explain where there is a data center with PUE of 3 in real life?

“The data centre has been equipped with high efficiency mechanical and electrical infrastructure that offers the best return on investment for Fujitsu’s customers. The data centre’s new features will save enough electricity to power 2,000 households a year. These  features include:
o Evaporation towers and heat exchangers more efficiently remove heat from the data centre systems than traditional air conditioning systems. 
o Heat pumps pre-heat incoming fresh air up to operational temperatures as it enters the data centre, reusing heat extracted from the technical halls. 
o Spray humidification – the technical hall air uses low energy spray humidifiers in the air inlets to the technical halls, instead of traditional steam humidification. 
o Variable fans and pumps in the cooling system make a significant energy saving even when the data centre is at full capacity, by matching the cooling provided to the actual cooling needs of the data halls.
o Diesel Rotary UPS (DRUPS) maintain the electricity supply to the whole data centre when a GRID blackout occurs. DRUPS consume less electricity than current UPS systems – providing a constant saving in energy usage every year.”

Some of this is good basics, but why not do some braver modern stuff like, hot or cold aisle containment, dumping the raised floor, really driving fresh air cooling, leveraging DC power where possible, using absorption chillers and CCHP plant and the many other 21st Century Data Center techniques that get you a much better PUE and lower carbon footprint?

Anyone from Fujitsu want to come back with a better story?

There Are 5 Responses So Far. »

  1. Steve – I couldn’t agree more. I am becoming more and more annoyed by vendors and their marketing people trying to promote their products by jumping on the green bandwagon when there is no basis in fact for their claims.

    It is great that someone can translate the techie babble that these people put out into clear terms that point out the misinformation.

    Keep up the good work


  2. It’s absolutely ridiculous for a company such as Fijitsu to make those claims. Well done on bursting their bubble, Steve. I hope they take a look and respond!

  3. Graham,

    Thank you for your comment. I did write to Fujitsu and their PR firm asking for clarification but no one got back to me. I am always happy to make changes to any posting that is factually incorrect or unfair.

    There is an email form on the About page that can be used for this purpose.

    Shame really.


  4. I have waited for 10 days now looking for any feedback from Fujitsu or their PR actually hoping I had got it wrong. Looks like even the largest and most well regarded companies haven’t got a clue about what being green and environmentally friendly means but are happy to make unfounded claims.

    The press release (including all of the inaccuracies) is still on the wire.



  5. These guys just get right up my nose, I hate liars and cheats. But I just don’t get it – why would such a large company with such a huge reputation and brand to damage send out complete rubbish? I hope the culprit gets the sack.

    Thanks for keeping us up to date with the truth.


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